You've spent many moons developing a relationship with a buyer who has paid your freight and become one of your best accounts. Now this person is on to bigger and better things. You should be able to make the transition from one buyer to the next without losing time and money. In some cases, this is an opportunity to increase your budget. Whatever you do, always make sure you open the new door with a note of congratulations. Here are seven "must-dos" that can keep the well flowing, long before the new buyer takes over one of your accounts.
Meet Everyone. If you have been working an agency, do you know the principal, media supervisor, planner, AE and assistant buyers? Down to the receptionist, you need to work all levels of the agency. Most firms hire from within. It's time to plant your seeds with these people because, most likely, one of them will ascend when there is a change.
Develop An Inside Coach. Your old buyer can be a great resource to you, even if he left on bad terms. He knows the inside of the company and the intangible dynamics. Developing a relationship with someone who can provide you with information about the new buyer is imperative.
Learn Deep Account History. You need more than just past flight runs. You want history about the creative campaigns they have run. You also want to keep track of the account since the time you began working on it in order to prove unequivocal growth for which you can take credit.
Research The Category And Business. Far too often, we rely on the buyer to tell us about the business. Instead, you want to shine and project yourself as an "assistant buyer" for him. Research their Website and industry magazines. Most important, talk with people in the organization up and down the chain of command. You should know their business as well as they do. This way, you'll be perceived as indispensable.
Bring In Your Success Stories. Show this new buyer exactly how you have helped this account in the past. What credentials do you bring to the table to help this account grow? Never be afraid to let them know whom "you know" inside the company.
Do A New CMP. In some cases, this is the opportunity you've been waiting for. Do a new "Customer Marketing Profile." Understand new client concerns. Learn the profit centers. This buyer might have a new agenda or, possibly, a hidden agenda. This is the time to listen.
Do Your Homework - on the buyer. Before you meet, you should know at least five personal things about this buyer. People don't care how much you know about them, as long as they know how much you care about them. How much you care is 80 percent of the battle.